APM sponsors West Australian of the Year’s Business Award

Published on 21 May 2021


APM wishes all finalists good luck for the Western Australian of the Year Awards for 2021

The awards recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions made to Western Australia – by people who born here and the people who have chosen to make Western Australia their home.

In 2021, there are 37 finalists across seven award categories – all of whom have been recognised as people who have made extraordinary contributions to their respective field, over the last two years.

These annual awards are part of Celebrate WA’s calendar of events over the WA Day public holiday weekend (5-7 June).

You can read the full list of the finalists for 2021.

This year APM is delighted to sponsor the Business Award, celebrating of excellence and outstanding ethics in business leadership, social entrepreneurship, or innovation at a state, national or international level.

Meet the 2021 Business Award finalists:

Nathan Bennett

On the same day that Canning Highway overflowed with crowds enjoying the Highway to Hell grand finale of the Perth Festival, Australia recorded its first COVID-19 death.

Events like Perth Festival require 12 months of planning, thoughts soon turned to how, or if, it would survive the global pandemic.

Enter executive director Nathan Bennett.

By deciding early on to curate a 2021 festival that was entirely local, Nathan overcame the risk of border closures to provide our arts sector with a much-needed platform when every area of the industry was struggling. He also worked closely with government, corporate and philanthropic supporters to ensure the 2021 Perth Festival had the financial support it required.

Just days before the opening of the 2021 Perth Festival, WA’s five-day snap lockdown was announced. Undeterred, Nathan steered staff to swiftly reschedule hundreds of affected performances and events by extending the dates of the festival by two weeks. All but one event was delivered.

Nathan staged possibly one of the few arts festivals on the planet in February 2021, delivering significant economic impact and lifting the spirits of both the community and hundreds of employed local artists. The 2021 Perth Festival proved a vital means of support for local suppliers and independent artists in a program that included 18 world premieres and 44 festival commissions, helping to amplify the voices of diverse and marginalised communities.

Hannah Mann

Many people take it for granted that they can walk into a pharmacy whenever a medical need arises. However, there are enormous access barriers for people living in regional communities through Western Australia, where many people don’t understand what a pharmacist is, or does.

That was until Hannah Mann decided to change the landscape. Hannah is a pharmacist changing the lives of Indigenous people in isolated communities, regularly driving hundreds of kilometres down dirt roads to dispense life-saving medication and advice.

As the owner and founder of Kimberley Pharmacy Services - a community focused pharmacy with branches in Broome, Derby and Fitzroy Crossing - she spends much of her time travelling between the pharmacies and providing medication, advice, and assistance to locals in towns and communities throughout the Kimberley region.

All with the specific aim of “doing remote pharmacy differently.”

This community-focused approach has attracted national recognition. In 2015, the Broome branch was named Pharmacy of the Year by The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the industry’s most prestigious honour. Hannah was also named First Amongst Equals, the highest honour in the Business News 40under40 awards in 2019 for her extraordinary contribution to remote Indigenous health.

In 2018, Hannah was appointed to the 12-person Pharmacy Board of Australia, the peak regulatory agency for pharmacy industry, by the Federal Minister for Health. In this role she aims to increase awareness of the workforce issues affecting healthcare in rural and remote areas across Australia.

Brodie McCulloch

Co-working spaces might seem commonplace now, but they were totally unheard of when Brodie McCulloch introduced the concept to Perth in 2010.

Since launching his business, Spacecubed, Brodie has transformed the Perth office landscape, rejuvenating over 7000 square metres of CBD office space and putting a whole new perspective on how we interact with our places of business.

A Murdoch University graduate who now employs 20 staff, Brodie has invested more than $1 million in WA start-ups and forged formal partnerships with 31 businesses. He is considered one of WA’s most innovative young businesspeople for building a range of spaces that support different industries and technologies.

A keen supporter of entrepreneurship, Brodie has achieved global recognition for his ‘Start-up Weekends’ - designed to promote, develop, test, validate and prototype innovative business models. His business has grown to more than 3800 registered members and is on track to “empower and connect’’ 100,000 businesses and innovators by 2025.

Brodie plays an active role in the community and is particularly interested in encouraging more females into STEM related industries. He is an active leader in supporting the growth of SheCodes - a series of programs across Australia that help enhance opportunities for women in technology-related industries.

He is also involved in a variety of community-based organisations, including as director of the Fremantle Community Bank and as a member of the Business School Advisory Board for Murdoch University.

Julian Pace

Rocked by the tragic suicides of close friends and family members, Julian Pace overcame his own grief to write an inspiring story based not on what happened to him but how he chose to respond to it.

After the tragedies, he employed a mix of practical lifestyle methods to rebuild his life including diet, exercise, and practising gratitude. Turning his pain into purpose, he is paving the path to a happier world, one person at a time.

As CEO and founder of the mental health organisation Happiness Co, Julian aims to reduce the impact of unhappiness, depression, and anxiety in the community through workshops, webinars, online and face-to-face programs for individuals and groups.

Julian also launched the Man Enough program, which aims to help reduce the startling rate of male suicide in Australia by educating men on the tools they need to overcome life’s challenges and the importance of seeking help.

Julian is honoured to have helped more than 85,000 people from more than 10 countries transform their lives and businesses through live events, audio programs, corporate products, and personal coaching. He has also worked with huge corporates, sports stars, and the media.

He was recently named Australia Day Ambassador by the Australia Day Council of Western Australia and presented a speech at the City of Cockburn’s 2021 Australia Day celebrations.

Julia Redwood

Julia Redwood was only 24 when she and her then business partner, Mr Ed Punchard, sat down in a Fremantle coffee shop and decided to start their own film production company.

Some 30 years later their creation, Prospero Productions, is still based in Fremantle and is one of the leading independent documentary production companies in the world.

The company has produced award-winning documentaries about the loss of HMAS Sydney and the Batavia and is the force behind the Martin Clunes-hosted Island of Australia, Outback Trackers and Outback Opal Hunters.

In 1998, Julia’s directorial debut Paying for the Piper was nominated for two AFI awards and won the top prize of the Golden Spire Award at the 2000 San Francisco Film Festival.

She is now bringing her storytelling skills to the full-dome screen, producing the ambitious films, Ningaloo – Australia’s Other Great Reef and Whale Super Highway with a third, Star Dreaming to be launched at this year’s Cinefest Oz.

Star Dreaming is a collaboration between Yamaji Art and Curtin University, bringing together science and stories of Aboriginal Dreamtime in an immersive cinematic experience. Seen through the eyes of 13-year-old children, it will transport audiences through time and into space.

Prospero Productions has funnelled a reported $100,000,000 of investment into the national film and TV industry and is WA’s biggest employer in the independent screen sector.

Julia has mentored many emerging creatives over the years, and many industry alumni have worked at Prospero on their journey to becoming industry professionals.